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Saturday, May 21, 2022

As Sri Lanka nears default, medicine strapped hospitals are deciding who lives and dies

Miru has a malignant brain tumor that causes him to have frequent epileptic seizures and fall unconscious for minutes on end. The only thing that helps is an anti-convulsant drug, but with Sri Lanka’s financial crisis hitting medical imports, Miru’s father, Upul Chandana, has struggled to find the medicine anywhere.

“This is not available in the hospital anymore. Even nearby pharmacies have run out of stock,” said Chandana, as his only son plays on the thin mattress behind him. “Now, even with money, we can’t find the medicine.”

Now, with medical drugs and equipment running low, the country is facing what’s being described by Singapore’s Red Cross as an “unprecedented humanitarian crisis.”

Doctors report washing and reusing medical equipment — and even performing a surgery by the light of mobile phones. So far authorities have not confirmed any deaths from the medicine shortages –…

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